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In order to explain the continual prosperity of the princes amid the clash of forces brought to bear against them from so many sides, we must remember that they were the partisans of social order in distracted burghs, the heroes of the middle classes and the multitude, the quellers of faction, the administrators of impartial laws, and the aggrandizers of the city at the expense of its neighbors. Ser Gorello, singing the praises of the Bishop Guido dei Tarlati di Pietra Mala, who ruled Arezzo in the first half of the fourteenth century, makes the Commune say: 'He was the lord so valiant and magnificent, so full of grace and daring, so agreeable to both Guelfs and Ghibellines. He, for his virtue, was chosen by common consent to be the master of my people. Peace and justice were the beginning, middle, and end of his lordship, which removed all discord from the State. By the greatness of his valor I grew in territory round about. Every neighbor reverenced me, some through love and some through dread; for it was dear to them to rest beneath his mantle. These verses set forth the qualities which united the mass of the populations to their new lords. The Despot delivered the industrial classes from the tyranny and anarchy of faction, substituting a reign of personal terrorism that weighed more heavily upon the nobles than upon the artisans or peasants. Ruling more by perfidy, corruption, and fraud than by the sword, he turned the leaders of parties into courtiers, brought proscribed exiles back into the city as officials, flattered local vanity by continuing the municipal machinery in its functions of parade, and stopped the mouths of unruly demagogues by making it their pecuniary interest to preach his benefits abroad. So long as the burghers remained peaceable beneath his sway and refrained from attacking him in person, he was mild. But at the same moment the gallows, the torture-chamber, the iron cage suspended from the giddy height of palace-roof or church tower, and the dreadful dungeons, where a prisoner could neither stand nor lie at ease, were ever ready for the man who dared dispute his authority. That authority depended solely on his personal qualities of will, courage, physical endurance. He held it by intelligence, being as it were an artificial product of political necessities, an equilibrium of forces, substituted without legal title for the Church and Empire, and accumulating in his despotic individuality the privileges previously acquired by centuries of consuls, Podest